Latania loddigesii (Blue Latan Palm, Latan Palm, Blue Latania Palm)
A handsome palm that is considered as one of the best ornamental fan palms.
Latania loddigesi is listed as a threatened palm in the IUCN Red List.
Plant Profile, Culture and Propagation :
- Botanical Name: Latania loddigesii (syn.: Cleophora loddigesii, Latania glaucophylla).
- Common Name:
Blue Latan Palm, Latan Palm, Blue Latania Palm.
- Family name: Arecaceae.
- Etymology: Not applicable.
- Origin: Native to Mascarene Islands comprising Mauritius, Rodrigues and Reunion.
It is widely cultivated elsewhere around the world.
- Plant type: An ornamental and perennial fan palm.
- Features: Latania loddigesii is from the genus Latania that consists of three species of flowering plants.
A solitary, erect and slow-growing palm that will eventually reach 10 m in height. Its 25 cm wide trunk has thick and swollen bases.
It bulges at its base with irregular and slightly raised leaf scar rings on a dark grayish background.
It is noted for its distinctive and coarse-textured costapalmate leaves. Each leaf is up to 3 m wide and divided into stiff, single-fold segments about ? to ½ the length of the leaf blade with undivided leaf segment tips. The leaf color is a pale waxy blue to blue-green with dense, whitish and wooly tomentum, giving a silvery appearance to the palm.
The leaf sheath splits to form a V-shape below the petiole. The large, leathery, very thick and stiff leaves, up to 2.44 m in diameter are held upwards on 1.52 m long petioles. The petiole is smooth and sharp-edged or armed with minute teeth along the margin near its base and with a triangular or arrow-shaped hastula. The petiole is slightly reddish in colour when the plant is young.
The 0.91 to 1.83 m long flower stalks are present among the leaves. Inflorescences are laterally to dependently oriented with 1 m long yellowish staminate (male) and 2 m long pistillate (female) flowers growing on separate palms.
The glossy, fleshy and oblong fruits up to 2.5 cm wide and 7.5 cm long are greenish to brownish-yellow in colour when ripe.
The fruits have a textured surface and enclose the smooth and almond-shaped seeds in sculpted pyrenes. It is a relative of the Bismarckia Palm which looks quite similar to this Blue Latania Palm.
- Culture (Care): Latania loddigesii or Blue Latan Palm can be grown easily with least maintenance.
Full sun, partial sun or semi-shade.
Moisture: Medium water requirement. It is drought-tolerant once established.
Soil: Humus-enriched, loamy and well-drained soils, though adaptable to a wide variety of soil types, provided its’s well-drained. It is moderately salt tolerant.
Others: This majestic palm does not require any pruning.
Just remove the withered fronds to keep it aesthetically pleasing. Use a good quality palm fertilizer which contains the correct ratio of nutrients twice annually. Alternately, use a slow-release granular fertiliser. Generally, the Blue Latan Palm is free from serious diseases and pests. However, it is susceptible to lethal yellowing disease.
For subtropical and temperate regions: Hardiness: USDA Zone 9b-11.
Latania loddigesii or Blue Latan Palm will thrive in a full sun location in most tropical and frost-free subtropical areas. It can tolerate a minimum temperature down to -3.89°C or -0.55°C. For non-hardy regions, it is advisable to plant this impressive palm in a container so that you can easily bring it indoors before any frost threatens.
- Propagation: Easily propagated from seeds that take about 2 months to germinate.
Latania loddigesii or Blue Latan Palm will be excellent as a striking specimen tree in parks and gardens.
A dramatic palm tree that’s most suited for landscaping along highway median strips, roundabouts and along road shoulders.
Ideal too as a container plant for a sunny deck or patio.
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